Rathfriland flute band celebrates 35th anniversary

Band members who received their 10 year service awards. Back row L-R: Nathan Bready, Adam Gilmour, Mark Anderson, Roy McCleery, Raymond Thompson, Jason Fairley, Ryan McCann. Front row L-R: Neil Megarrey, Mark McCully, Victoria Bready, Stuart Magennis, Thomas Jennings, Iain Anderson.
Band members who received their 10 year service awards. Back row L-R: Nathan Bready, Adam Gilmour, Mark Anderson, Roy McCleery, Raymond Thompson, Jason Fairley, Ryan McCann. Front row L-R: Neil Megarrey, Mark McCully, Victoria Bready, Stuart Magennis, Thomas Jennings, Iain Anderson.

Pride of the Hill Flute Band, Rathfriland recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with a dinner dance in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge.

More than 150 guests - current members, former members and supporters of the band - were in attendance at the event on November 4.

Members of Glascar LOL 1966 presenting Pride of the Hill with a new flag to celebrate the 35-year association between the band and lodge.

Members of Glascar LOL 1966 presenting Pride of the Hill with a new flag to celebrate the 35-year association between the band and lodge.

Formed in September 1982 in the Old School House, Aughnavollog, the band is one of the most widely known throughout the parade scene in Northern Ireland and further afield.

More than 300 people have been members of the band since its formation.

At the anniversary dinner, photographs and videos from down the years were on display as well as all eight uniforms that the band has worn, allowing the guests to take a trip down memory lane.

Members were awarded long service awards for 10, 20 and 30 years service, with three of the serving members still in the band from its formation.

David Kerr, Harry Henning, John Trimble and Robert Bready, who each received their 30 year long service award.

David Kerr, Harry Henning, John Trimble and Robert Bready, who each received their 30 year long service award.

Glascar LOL 1966 presented a new flag to the band to commemorate 35 years of the band leading the lodge at the annual 12th celebrations, while Ulster Covenant Memorial LOL 1984 (University of Ulster lodge) presented the band with a photo to thank them for leading them at their banner dedication at St Anne’s Cathedral last year.

Drumnavaddy RBP 978 also congratulated the band on reaching its milestone and thanked all members past and present for leading the preceptory at the 13th July and Black Saturday demonstrations over the past 23 years.

“The band would like to thank everyone who made the evening a great success,” a Pride of the Hill spokesman said. “We’d also like to thank our members, ex-members and supporters for their continued support over the last 35 years.”

Members of the band who received their 20 year service awards. Back row L-R: David Henning, Brian Weir, Alan Stewart, John Wright, Martin Porter. Front row L-R: Gary Hanna, Darren Trimble, Simon Gray, James Bell.

Members of the band who received their 20 year service awards. Back row L-R: David Henning, Brian Weir, Alan Stewart, John Wright, Martin Porter. Front row L-R: Gary Hanna, Darren Trimble, Simon Gray, James Bell.

Founder members who started the band in 1982: Lenny Blakely, Harry Henning, David Kerr, Kenny Bready, Brian Johnston, Robert Bready and Mayne Macauley.

Founder members who started the band in 1982: Lenny Blakely, Harry Henning, David Kerr, Kenny Bready, Brian Johnston, Robert Bready and Mayne Macauley.

Chris McCabe from Ulster Coventant Memorial LOL 1984 (University of Ulster lodge) presenting a photo to Stuart Magennis thanking the band for leading them at their banner dedication at St Anne's Cathedral.

Chris McCabe from Ulster Coventant Memorial LOL 1984 (University of Ulster lodge) presenting a photo to Stuart Magennis thanking the band for leading them at their banner dedication at St Anne's Cathedral.